Who’s Helping The Terrorists?

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Our friends on the right fringe, of course. In their desperation to turn the Islamic center in Lower Manhattan into this year’s wedge issue, Palin, Gingrich and the rest of the irresponsibles might be delivering big for Al Qaeda.

Some counterterrorism experts say the anti-Muslim sentiment that has saturated the airwaves and blogs in the debate over plans for an Islamic center near ground zero in Lower Manhattan is playing into the hands of extremists by bolstering their claims that the United States is hostile to Islam.Opposition to the center by prominent politicians and other public figures in the United States has been covered extensively by the news media in Muslim countries. At a time of concern about radicalization of young Muslims in the West, it risks adding new fuel to Al Qaeda’s claim that Islam is under attack by the West and must be defended with violence, some specialists on Islamic militancy say.

“I know people in this debate don’t intend it, but there are consequences for these kinds of remarks,” said Brian Fishman, who studies terrorism for the New America Foundation here.

There’s more from the New York Times…

Glenn Beck: The Meltdown. It Won’t Be Pretty

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Glenn Beck's new low

From Media Matter’s Ben Dimiero:

If you wondered how long it would take Glenn Beck to make his simulation of President Obama pouring gasoline on a person look comparatively tame, the answer is about 13 months.

Welcome to the meltdown. It isn’t pretty.

Apparently feeling pressure from an investigation by Rep. Anthony Weiner into his promotion of Goldline and ongoing scrutiny from Media Matters and others, Beck uncorked an impressively paranoid conspiracy theory this week. According to Beck, the SEIU, AFL-CIO, Van Jones, Jim Wallis, the White House, Rep. Weiner and Media Matters are engaged in “Alinskyite” plots that seek to “destroy” him, his family, Fox News, Christianity, and the Founding Fathers.

Though all facets of this conspiracy theory are equally absurd, it’s worth noting that Beck’s call to “leave the families alone” rings especially hollow when viewed in light of the fact that earlier in the same radio show he suggested that Sasha and Malia Obama think “Jews are destroying the world” because they were exposed to Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Later in the week, he mocked 11-year-old Malia for several minutes on his radio show by impersonating her voice and saying things like “Daddy, why do you hate black people?” He proceeded to attack “the level” of Obama’s daughters’ “education.” Despicable — and entirely in character. While Beck subsequently apologized for his comments mocking Malia Obama, he has yet to address the balance of his attacks against the first family.

Earlier this week, while lauding his supposed Nostradamus-like ability to predict future atrocities, Beck suggested that his detractors merely rely on labeling him crazy, rather than factually debunking his paranoid ranting. Trying to “factually” debunk ideas like a widespread progressive effort to destroy Beck’s family and the Founding Fathers is akin to trying to debunk the conspiracy theory that the world is actually controlled by shape-shifting lizard people: It is self-refuting ridiculousness.

And while the idea that nobody can refute Beck on factual issues is a good line for his viewers, it simply isn’t true. Here are several examples just from this week.

There’s more…

Message to FOX: Stop promoting racism!

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Via Media Matters for America:

Yesterday, John Stossel took to the air on Fox News to defend the right to discriminate based on race. Yes, you just read that correctly. On Megyn Kelly’s Fox News show, Fox News employee John Stossel said:

“Private businesses ought to get to discriminate. And I won’t won’t ever go to a place that’s racist and I will tell everybody else not to and I’ll speak against them. But it should be their right to be racist.”

Stossel is only the latest in a long line of Fox News personalities to divide America along racial lines, and it needs to stop. We need to send a message loud and clear — first to Fox, and if it’s unwilling to listen, to the sponsors who support it:

Enough is enough: Stop promoting racism on your network.

But Stossel didn’t just argue for the right to discriminate. He went a step further, suggesting the “public accommodations” section of the Civil Rights Act should be repealed, thus allowing businesses to practice racial discrimination. This is the section of the law that prohibits a lunch counter from refusing to serve African-Americans — a practice which was commonplace when the law was passed.

“Don’t bet against America.”

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—President Bill Clinton in a speech at the Center for American Progress Action Fund on 4/16/2010.

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From our friends at ThinkProgress:

Fifteen years ago today, anti-government extremist Timothy McVeigh blew up a truck laden with 5,000 pounds of explosives outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring more than 680 in the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil before 9/11. In a speech at the Center for American Progress Action Fund on Friday, former President Bill Clinton spoke of this pivotal moment in his presidency and “drew parallels between the antigovernment tone that preceded that devastating attack and the political tumult of today.” “Before the bombing occurred, there was a sort of fever in America,” Clinton recalled. “The fabric of American life had been unraveling, more and more people who had a hard time figuring out where they fit in. … It is true that we see some of that today.” Speaking before Clinton, Center for American Progress Action Fund President John Podesta noted that while dissent is “patriotic” and should be encouraged, “when any leader promotes fear-mongering or distortions, it can create a climate where violence is more imaginable.” Given the disturbing uptick in anti-government extremism, Clinton noted that it takes only one Timothy McVeigh to cause extreme violence and urged leaders in politics and the media to be more responsible with their rhetoric. “Words have consequences as much as actions do, and what we advocate, commensurate with our position and our responsibility, we have to take responsibility for,” Clinton said, adding, “Don’t bet against America.”

There’s more…

Meet Senator Formaldehyde aka Sen. Vitter

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Via ProPublica:

When Sen. David Vitter persuaded the EPA to agree to yet another review of its long-delayed assessment of the health risks of formaldehyde, he was praised by companies that use or manufacture a chemical found in everything from plywood to carpet.As long as the studies continue, the EPA will still list formaldehyde as a “probable” rather than a “known” carcinogen, even though three major scientific reviews now link it to leukemia and have strengthened its ties to other forms of cancer. The chemical industry is fighting to avoid that designation, because it could lead to tighter regulations and require costly pollution controls.

“Delay means money. The longer they can delay labeling something a known carcinogen, the more money they can make,” said James Huff, associate director for chemical carcinogenesis at the National Institute for Environmental Health in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There’s more…

Tea Party Leader Suggested Shooting Hispanics

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He was married to a Hispanic woman and is being sought by the police. Via TPM:

Police are searching for a local Tea Party leader in Ohio who is wanted for violating a temporary protection order. Meanwhile, speakers at a Tea Party rally organized by the man, Brian “Sonny” Thomas, have pulled out after he suggested in a tweet that he wanted to shoot Hispanic immigrants — then blaming it on a Bee Gees song.

Thomas is the founder and president of the Springboro Tea Party in southwest Ohio. He faces a misdemeanor charge after recently going to the home of the mother of his son, in violation of a protection order. The woman had previously told police that their son had returned from Thomas’s home with bruises.

There’s more…

Worth Repeating

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In what is ostensibly the most advanced democracy in the world, political thuggery is escalating into political violence as the Tea Party right-wing populists vent their rage and frustration. Having failed to effect policy through normal politics, the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party is now pursuing extraordinary means to see their political agenda served.

Christopher Deis, AlterNet